Hello everyone and a Happy New Year. I’m very sorry for the long delay in posting but sometimes life just gets in the way of so much. Thank you for all your support over the last few weeks it is greatly appreciated. If I could I would give you all a hug for your continued support.
This post will contain SPOILERS. I hope you enjoy this post.
Endeavour Series One, Episode Four; ‘Home’.
Chronologically this is episode 5.
First broadcast 5th May 2013.
Here is my trailer for the episode.
Colin is sitting at the table on the right. This scene is at 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
Directed by Colm McCarthy: Colin also directed the pilot episode of Endeavour.
Written by Colin Dexter (characters), Russell Lewis (written and devised by). Russell has written all the Endeavour episodes. He also directed;
Lewis (TV Series) (screenplay – 4 episodes, 2010 – 2012) (story – 1 episode, 2006)
– Fearful Symmetry (2012) … (screenplay)
– Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things (2011) … (screenplay)
– Falling Darkness (2010) … (screenplay)
– The Dead of Winter (2010) … (screenplay)
– Reputation (2006) … (story)
He also wrote the Morse episode, ‘The Way Through the Woods’.
Late at night Endeavour is called out to an apparent hit and run. The victim is Prof Alistair Coke Norris who teaches at Baidley College, Oxford. Endeavour is curious as to why there is no broken glass or other debris in the street from the car that hit the professor.
Meanwhile Fred Thursday is disturbed to find a villain from his past, Vic Kasper, has turned up in Oxford. Vic Casper has bought the Moonlight Rooms but the place is being managed by his son, Vince. This particular storyline throws light on why Fred moved to Oxford from London.
Endeavour believes Prof Alistair Coke Norris’s death may be linked to the selling of college land for the purpose of building houses. Endeavour learns that Prof Alistair Coke Norris’s father left the land to the college some fifty years before and the Professor is the lone voice against the sale of the land.
Endeavour stumbles across a connection between Prof Alistair Coke Norris and the Moonlight Rooms and this connection is highlighted further with the death a cigarette seller, Jolyon Frobisher, who worked at the Moonlight Rooms and apparently knew the Professor.
During his investigations Endeavour gets a call from his half sister Joyce telling him their father is seriously ill. Endeavour visits his father and receives a cold welcome from not only his father but his stepmother Gwen.
Can Endeavour deal with all the above and find time to to take his sergeants exam which will release him from his general duties in the police station.
(warning, this review may contain some spoilers)
This episode ends the first series on a high note. Not only does the episode have a great storyline but we also get to know more about Endeavour and his family and some information about Fred Thursday’s backstory.
During the episode Endeavour receives a call from his step sister Joyce that his father is ill. Joyce’s mother is Gwen, his father’s second wife. Gwen never liked Endeavour and still doesn’t.
Gwen Morse played by Lynda Rooke.
We also met Gwen in the original Morse series in the episode Cherubim and Seraphim (Season 6, Episode 5).
Gwen Morse played by Edwina Day in the episode Cherubim and Seraphim.
In that same Inspector Morse episode we also got to meet Joyce.
Joyce Morse played by Sorcha Cusack.
It was interesting that the actor, Alan Williams, who they chose to play Cyril Morse, Endeavour’s father, had more than a passing resemblance to John Thaw.
Allan Williams as Cyril Morse.
Just as interesting as the above was learning why Fred Thursday moved to Oxford from London. Fred asked for the transfer as his family was under threat from London gangsters, in particular Vic Casper. You have to believe that the threat was a serious one to have Fred ask his superiors for a transfer.
We also learn that Fred took a police constable under his wing in London, Mickey Carter. Mickey was killed by Vic Casper’s gang and Thursday blamed himself for his death. He helped out Mickey Carter’s widow financially until she remarried.
Though we get to learn something about Fred’s history, he speaks Italian and German, he fought in the war etc I still would love to learn more about him.
The cinematography was as ever excellent. Setting the episode while snow fell and was on the ground gave an extra dimension to the photography and as if Oxford City wasn’t already picturesque it was even more so being covered in snow. I can only assume that filming during a period of snow was not planned as the UK has in the last 20 years not always had snow during the winter months. A serendipitous event that helped give the episode a different look and feel.
The producer Dan McCulloch said in an interview, “Shooting for Home took place in January. We were ready for the snow, but not quite so much of it! Filming had to be halted on one day, while we battled the weather for almost a week. In the end, we’re very pleased with the result the chilly landscape gives the story.”
Shaun Evans was sublime in the episode and the scene where he is sitting at the bedside of his dead father trying to deal with the situation was wonderful. No histrionics just little movements of his head and hands but enough to convey his mental and emotional state.
The episode beautifully intertwined Endeavour’s and Fred’s past. We have Endeavour dragged back in his past with his father’s illness and Fred being dragged into his past by the appearance of Vic Casper. While Cyril Morse’s death was an end to an unhappy part Endeavour’s past as he and his father never saw eye to eye so Fred also saw an end to part of his past with the arrest of Vic Casper’s son Vince and what would subsequently happen with Vic probably returning to London.
A special mention for Poppy Miller who played the seemingly distraught wife of Prof Coke Norris who played her part wonderfully. Poppy played the part of the mousy wife who wouldn’t say boo to a goose perfectly. I loved her sudden change in personality and the coldness in her eyes as she realises she is sitting on her gun and then points it at Endeavour. Well done Poppy Miller you made the episode a great one.
Another clever little section in the episode was creating a limp for the older Morse. Of course John Thaw had a real life limp so it was nice that Russell Lewis added an explanation for the older Morse limping.
Yes the ending is a little over melodramatic. Yes, the scenes between Dr Kern and Millicent Coke Norris are a little Brief Encounter but all in all the scenes don’t detract from what is a great episode.
Two problems I had with the episode. Firstly, Fred drives Morse through to his father’s house but doesn’t appear to be asked inside. Then the next day Endeavour’s father dies and he meets Fred outside. Did Fred sleep in the car? Did Fred drive home then return the next day? Neither elements are made clear.
Secondly, we learn that Prof Coke Norris was killed by a blow to the head with a hammer. Dr. Max DeBryn believed the injury to the head was due to either or a blow from the car or the kerb. Surely to the doctor’s expert eye a hammer blow would leave a different injury a distinctive mark than from being hit by a car or a kerb.
Episode Jag Rating – out of 10.
The first piece of music is at the very beginning of the episode; the beautiful and haunting Requiem, Op 48 by Gabriel Fauré, (Born: 1845 Died: 1924). The whole piece is wonderful.
The section used in the episode starts at 34 minutes and 22 seconds. However, listen to the complete recording it is wonderful. The music is played again when Endeavour is on the train to visit his family. A section of the Requiem is also played after the scene when Endeavour and Thursday are interviewing Dorothea Frazil about the threats she received around the 51 minute mark.
The next piece of music is a jazz.rhythm and blues number titled ‘Dance for you‘. It is sung by Rachel D’Arcy who is the actual artist singing in the episode but goes by the name of Miss Lila Pilgrim in the episode.
Rachel also sings the songs ‘I Need Some Rock and Roll‘ and ‘ The Entertainer’ during the episode.
At around 27 minutes Vic Casper is standing outside his grand home listening to Carl Maria von Weber’s Invitation to the Dance (Aufforderung zum Tanz), Op. 65.
At the one hour and sixteen minute mark Millicent Coke Norris is talking to Dr. Ian Kern while he sorts out Professor Coke Norris’s library. Playing in the background is the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s (Born: 1843 Died: 1907) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16.
The Grieg music is reprised later in the episode when Endeavour and Thursday are questioning Millicent Coke Norris.
Quite a few literary references in this episode. At the beginning of the episode Professor Coke Norris is holding a tutorial and says; “Every story has a beginning. Before the gates of Troy. In a certain house in Ithaca. On the road to Thebes.”
The ‘gates of Troy‘ story he refers to is in connection to the Trojan War, which lasted ten years. ‘A certain house in Ithaca‘ refers to the house of Odysseus, who was Ithaca’s rightful ruler. Odysseus was one of the suitors of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the known world. Foreseeing that the situation would not lead anywhere, as there was a multitude of suitors and Tyndareus was unable to choose a husband for her in fear of offending them, he made a proposal to him. He said that if Tyndareus (king of Sparta) would help him win the hand of Penelope, then he would provide a solution to the problem. He then told all of the suitors to swear an oath, which was hence named the Oath of Tyndareus, according to which no matter who Helen would pick for her husband, they would all support the couple. Everyone agreed and Helen chose Menelaus, king of Sparta. Odysseus then took Penelope for his bride and went back to Ithaca. Then Helen is abduced by Paris and soon after the Trojan War begins.
‘On the road Thebes‘ refers to the story of Oedipus. To put it succinctly the story involves Oedipus killing his father and marrying his mother.
At around 9 minutes Endeavour tells Thursday that uniform found Professor Coke Norris’s briefcase. Inside there are essays on The Trachiniae. Endeavour tells Fred it is a play by Sophocles. The play is also known as “The Trachinian Women”, “The Women of Trachis” or “The Maidens of Trachis”. It is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright by Sophocles.
At 24 minute and a half minutes Joyce is with Endeavour in a pub. Joyce asks why he went back to Oxford. Endeavour replies that a policeman goes where he is sent. Joyce tells him that his father simply said about the situation ‘Proverbs 26:11’. “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” is an aphorism which appears in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. Endeavour’s father is making a crude reference to Endeavour’s failed relationship with Susan.
At one hour and 8 minutes Thursday and Endeavour are discussing the contents of the second briefcase. Endeavour says that he can’t see any mention of Vick Casper. Fred says that he is involved up to his neck. Endeavour replies, “Hast seen the White Whale.” This is a reference to Herman Melville‘s excellent novel, ‘Moby Dick‘. Chapter 128 begins, “”Ship, ahoy! Hast seen the White Whale?”
At around the 15 minute mark Endeavour visits Professor Coke Norris’s study. He finds Dr Ian Kern. On the wall over Morse’s shoulder there is a painting.
The painting is called Boats on a River by a Castle by an unknown artist. The style is French and was probably painted in the early part of the 20th century.
Here is the full painting.
At 31 and half minutes Dr. Ian Kern is clearing out Professor Coke Norris’s things from hi s rooms. On the wall behind Dr Kern one can see a painting.
This painting is titled Portrait of a Lady by Edwin Henry Landseer (1802–1873).
Here below is the painting in all its glory.
At one hour and ten minutes we are back in Professor Coke Norris’s room though now they have been assigned to Dr Kern. On the wall on Endeavour’s right their is a small landscape.
This painting is Keston Common, Kent, by David Cox the younger (1809–1885).
Below is the painting.
In the same scene we see a large painting to the right of Morse.
This is Southampton Castle by Augustus Wall Callcott (1779–1844).
At one minute twenty seconds we see Judy Vallens walking through Baidley College.
The real college being used for this location is Keble College.
The Oxfordstudent.com website had an article about the filming at Keble College; http://oxfordstudent.com/2013/01/24/endeavour-filming-at-keble/
At four minutes Endeavour visits the location of the hit and run.
As you can see in the picture above there is a street sign reading ‘Linkside’. There is a Linkside Avenue in Oxford but this is not the location used for the above mentioned scene. Unfortunately I cannot pinpoint where the actual location is.
At the five and a half minute mark we see Millicent Coke Norris on the platform of a railway station.
The actual location of the above is Horsted Keynes station, Bluebell Railway, West Sussex.
The same location is used when Endeavour is getting on the train later on in the episode.
At five and a half minutes Endeavour drives to Thursday’s house.
This house is in Courthouse Road in Finchley, London.
At six and a half minutes Endeavour is sitting in the car with Joan while Fred visits the tobacconist.
This location is on Holywell Street in Oxford and the ‘tobacconists is actually a shop called The Alternative Tuck Shop.
At eleven and a half minutes Endeavour is talking to the Master, Jolyon Frobisher.
This location is Keble College Dining Hall.
At 19 minutes Fred and Endeavour are visiting the Moonlight Rooms owned by Vic Casper.
The actual location used above is Pusey Street in Oxford.
Pusey Street was also used for a now famous and well loved scene from the pilot episode of Endeavour. At the end of Pusey Street that you can see in the above picture is where they filmed Endeavour and Fred in the car and Shaun Evans looks in his rear view mirror and sees the eyes of John Thaw.
At one hour and two minutes we find Joan sitting on a bench eating her lunch.
This location is part of Exeter college above Brasenose Lane adjacent to the Radcliffe Camera.
At one hour and five minutes Endeavour is talking to the taxi driver who had Professor Coke Norris as a passenger.
We are again beside the Radcliffe Camera. The taxis are parked on Catte Street.
The pub that Endeavour, Jakes and Thursday visit at 38 minutes,
This pub is The King’s Arms in Oxford on the corner of Parks Road and Holywell Street.
Thank you to my friend Françoise Beghin for the following location.
Below is the location of Cyril and Gwen Morse’s home.
The above is Colstrope Farm, Colstrope Lane, Hambleden, Henley-On-Thames RG9 6SN.
Actors who appeared in the Endeavour Series 1, Episode 4 ‘Home’ and/or Morse or Lewis.
It goes without saying that both Roger Allam and Caroline O’Neill have appeared in Morse and Lewis respectively. But as they are regulars and have been mentioned in my other reviews I don’t think there is a need to mention them again in the context of this part of my post.
First up is Paul Venables who played Professor Coke Norris.
Paul also appeared in the Lewis episode ‘Music to Die For’, ( Season 2 | Episode 2 ) as Hansie Kriel.
Our second recurring actor is Louis Dylan. In the Endeavour episode she played Judy Vallens.
Louis Dylan as Judy Vallens.
Louis Dylan also appeared in the Lewis episode, ‘Allegory of Love’ (Series 3, Episode 1) playing the character Melanie Harding.
Louis Dylan as Melanie Harding.
Just as an interesting aside. Melanie Harding was Australian and the Harding family who were portrayed in the Morse episode, ‘Promised Land’ were living in Australia. The Hardings had three children, Karen, who was about 11, and the twins whose names were never mentioned. The twins were around 5 years old. The Morse episode, ‘Promised Land’ was set in 1991 and the Lewis episode was set in 2009. This would make one of the female twins around 23 by my reckoning. Melanie Harding could have been in that age range. Co-incidence? I don’t think so.
Anyway, on to the third actor who is Lloyd McGuire. In the Endeavour episode he played Charlie Ayers.
Lloyd McGuire as Charlie Ayers.
Lloyd McGuire played a Prison Officer called Clough in the Morse episode ‘The Day of the Devil’ (Series 7, Episode 2).
Lloyd McGuire as Clough.
Next up we have Richard Hawley. He played the slimy Morris Cubitt in the Endeavour episode.
Richard Hawley as Morris Cubitt.
In the Morse episode, ‘The Secret of Bay 5b’ (Series 3, Episode 4), Richard played an orderly.
Richard Hawley as an orderly with the lovely Amanda Hillwood in the background.
The fifth actor is Lynda Rooke who played Gwen Morse in this episode as mentioned above. Lynda also played Joyce Gaitteau in the final Lewis episode, ‘What Lies Tangled’ (Series 9, Episode 3).
Lynda Rooke as Joyce Gaitteau.
Last but not least is Sonya Cassidy who as already mentioned played Joyce Morse in the Endeavour episode. In the Lewis episode, ‘Quality of Mercy (Series 3, Episode 2), she played Alison. Now I had a little difficulty in pinpointing who Alison was as her name never seemed to be mentioned but I think this is Sonya Cassidy in the picture below.
The Professor’s name in the episode Coke Norris seemed a little unusual and was crying out to be investigated. I came across a J. W. Coke Norris who taught only the lower forms Latin and Greek at Harrow. It has been speculated that he was the inspiration for the character of Crocker Harris, the classics master in The Browning Version a play by Terence Rattigan.
Crocker Harris’s wife was called Millie Crocker-Harris. Professor Coke Norris’s wife was also called Millie or Millicent to give her her full name.
In the play on his last day, one student named Taplow, who does not hate Crocker-Harris but feels sorry for him, gives him a small going-away gift – a copy of the translation by Robert Browning of Aeschylus’ ancient play Agamemnon. The gift brings about a series of actions which make Crocker-Harris reflect on his past, contemplate his future, and evaluate how he is going to finish his tenure at the school.
In the Endeavour episode a copy of Agamemnon is said by Millicent Coke Norris to have been a present from a junior man before Dr. Ian Kern who is helping to sort out Professor Coke Norris’s library after his death.
During the episode Endeavour visits his mother’s grave,
So, we find out that Endeavour’s mother was only 29 when she died.
At one hour and four minutes Jakes is reading out a list of aliases used by Georgina Bannard a known prostitute who shared a flat with Judy Vallens; Marion Childs, June Buckridge and Betty Brinker. I decided to Google these names and see if they had any significance.
The first name did not throw up anything of interest but the second name, June Buckridge did. June Buckridge is the name of a character in the play and film The Killing of Sister George. The Killing of Sister George is a 1964 play by Frank Marcus that was later adapted into a 1968 film directed by Robert Aldrich. The character is a lesbian. The character of Judy Vallens in the Endeavour appeared to be a lesbian as she was in love with Georgina Bannard.
The final name, Betty Brinker did not throw up anything of interest.
One of my subscribers commented, “There was a reference to Sid and Gerald Fletcher (i think it was why Vic Kasper left London). This surely is a reference to film Get Carter as they were the employers of Jack Carter (Michael Caine).”
John Molloy noticed this reference to a British TV show. John wrote, “Around 20 minutes from the end of the running time on TV Fred Thursday confronts Vic Casper in the latter’s club and tells him to leave Oxford. Casper’s response is along the lines of, ” Don’t I get to open the box. ” I suggest this is a reference to the TV game show Take Your Pick which ran in the 1950s and 60s. The show has been subsequently revised and broadcast but in the original series successful contestants who correctly answered quiz questions were given a choice by Michael Miles, the host, to accept the cash he was offering them or open a closed box in which would be an unknown object of greater or lesser value than the cash. Miles would ask the audience if contestants should take the money or open the box, to which they shouted out their preferences.
Paul Venables as Prof Alistair Coke Norris
Shaun Evans as DC Endeavour Morse
Louise Dylan as Judy Vallens
Guy Williams as Jolyon Frobisher
Lloyd McGuire as Charlie Ayres
Jamie Glover as Dr. Ian Kern
Sean Rigby as PC Jim Strange
Poppy Miller as Millicent Coke Norris
Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday
Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday
Anton Lesser as Chief Superintendent Bright
James Bradshaw as Dr. Max DeBryn
Jack Laskey as DS Peter Jakes
Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil
Chris Barnes as Albert Gudgeon
Richard Hawley as Morris Cubitt
Kelly Adams as Cynthia Riley
Clive Wood as Vic Kasper
Nick Court as Vince Kasper
Lynda Rooke as Gwen Morse
Sonya Cassidy as Joyce Morse
Alan Williams as Cyril Morse
Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday
Edmund Kingsley as Mark Carlisle
Marilyn O’Brien as Prue Carter
John Hollingworth as Taxi Driver (as John Hollingsworth)
Rachel D’Arcy as Lila Pilgrim – Nightclub Singer
Alexandra Doyle as Georgina Bannard
I hope you all enjoyed the post or at least found something of interest. All being equal my posts will now be more regular than they have been for the past month. Take care everyone.